Ahead of Printing Budget Documents, Sitharaman, Thakur Take Part in 'Halwa Ceremony'
The annual celebration is held in the presence of the entire Finance Ministry. Sitharaman’s maiden budget is scheduled to be presented on 5 July.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her deputy Anurag Thakur distribute halwa at the North Block printing press. (PTI)
New Delhi: Newly appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with junior minister Anurag Thakur performed the traditional 'halwa ceremony' on Saturday and green-flagged the printing exercise of Budget documents.
Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Atanu Chakraborty and Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar were also part of the customary pre-Budget event.
The annual celebration is held in the presence of the entire Finance Ministry. The Indian tradition of having something sweet before starting anything auspicious finds its way through this Ceremony.
On July 5, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will unveil the full Budget for 2019-20. On February 1, the government had presented an Interim Budget to take Parliament's nod for spending till the new government took charge after the general election.
The special printing press where the Budget documents are printed is located in the basement of the North Block and is guarded well due to the confidential nature of the papers. The press has been used for printing Budget documents since 1980 and this is where the 'halwa party' is relished by all.
The significance of the event is that after the sweet dish is served, a large number of officials and support staff, who are directly associated with the Budget making and printing process, are required to stay in the ministry and remain cut off from their families till the presentation of the Budget in the Lok Sabha.
Usually, the Halwa ceremony takes place in the month of February every year.
(With inputs from PTI)
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